Shifting my focus outward gave my struggles a whole new perspective. A hurting world waited for someone to touch them with the love of Christ right outside my window. For example, one year three women in our congregation lost their husbands. I watched as two of these women regrouped, rebuilt, and reinvented their lives. But one of the windows shriveled up and died in a nursing home. Observing their struggles caused me to ask, what would I do if tragedy struck me? Do I have the spiritual chops to pick myself up and start over? Could I trust God to lead me through a dark valley?
Fear that I would fail a similar spiritual test lingered in the back of my mind.
Then I attended a writer’s class that encouraged us to write about our deepest fears. I wanted to write something funny, and frankly, writing about something that scared me to death didn’t sound fun let alone funny. But God used this story, Reinventing Leona, to teach me to trust, and in the process He prepared me for a devastating turn of events that would either make or break me in 2009. Not the death of my husband, but something humiliating … the dismissal from the church we served.
I’m happy to say, I’m coming out of that deep grief a reinvented woman, one who daily rejoices in the faithfulness of God.
According to Ephesians 4:20-25 Christ gives us the power to daily slough off our old selves … the self mired in fear, mistakes, and regret … and become a creature remade in His glorious light.
The process is painful, but the results are worth every laborious step. Let God remake you. The rejoicing is sweet.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE BOOK - Reinventing Leona
Leona Harper loves being a pastor's wife. Her impressive resume touts thirty years of coaxing hot water from rusty parsonage plumbing, planning church potlucks, and standing beside her husband while members take potshots at his sermons. Except for the little tiff with her grown children, Leona feels her life is right on track with the wishes of the Almighty...until her husband drops dead in the pulpit.
When the church board decides to fill the Reverend's vacated position Leona is forced to find a paying job, mend her fractured family, and tackle her fears. With life spiraling out of control, Leona might find the church members antics comical if she weren't so completely panicked. Can the faith of an overwhelmed widow withstand the added heartache of two resentful children and several underhanded church members? If Leona can't trust God, how will she learn to trust herself?
As one of the five titles in the launch of Tyndale House's Digital First Initiative, Reinventing Leona is available exclusively as an ebook. You can purchase it through Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com, ChristianBoook.com, Mobipocket, and iTunes.